Influencing and becoming policy leaders

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The AVMA will advocate that policymakers consider the potential harm increased costs for veterinary care could have on animal health.

And the Association will host a meeting on state public policy advocacy and work to consult state veterinary associations prior to acting on state legislative or regulatory issues.

A policy passed by the Executive Board, "Government Fees and Taxes on Veterinary Products and Services," indicates fees and taxes on veterinary products and services could lead to an increase in the number of animals that do not receive optimal medical care. The policy also states that negative impacts on animal health care could adversely affect human health and increase the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks.

"The AVMA believes government entities should strongly consider the possible negative effects on human health, animal health, and animal welfare that may result from any proposed fees or taxes on veterinary products or services," the policy states.

The AVMA will also host its fourth State Public Policy Symposium in 2012, but the meeting location has not been determined. The AVMA Executive Board approved $25,000 in expenses for the meeting, which is intended to help state and local constituent organizations impact public policy. The previous meetings were in 2004 and 2006 in Chicago and 2009 in Tampa, Fla.

And the Executive Board voted to amend AVMA policy to state that the Association will wait to act on a state legislative or regulatory issue until it has a chance to talk with the affected state VMA's leaders. The Executive Board added the provision to its protocol for AVMA advocacy on state legislative and regulatory matters.